April 12, 2012

Resurrection Celebration

We were forced to stay home this year on Easter, instead of getting to spend it with Mimi and the cousins, on account of the chickenpox. It was surprisingly restful and especially worshipful and we finally got to have our Resurrection Celebration that I'd only dreamed about the last few years.

Charlie and I stayed up WAY too late getting everything set up in the backyard so that it would be all ready when we'd wake the kids at sunrise. But, this day! Oh, this day is worth celebrating!! It's the day we'll be celebrating forever.

We kept it pretty simple using decor I already had from throwing showers, my fancy dishes, and flowers. While I worked on a table arrangement the evening before, Charlie did most of the food prep for our Resurrection Celebration: Green Eggs & HamYWF link-sausage, sweet potato hash, and fruit salad.

As we were getting ready to celebrate on Easter morning, things just needed to either be popped in the oven or cooked on the stovetop. (We forgot ALL about our Resurrection Cookies that we'd made the night before, though, when we were pre-heating the oven. Oops!!) We woke up the kids as we busted into their rooms telling them, "He is Risen! Jesus is alive!! The women saw an angel instead of Jesus who told them that Jesus would meet them in Galilee, just as He had promised." (Mark 16)

While breakfast was warming, the kids searched for their Easter baskets hidden in the house. This was the first time we'd hidden them and they loved the thrill of the hunt.

We were not surprised at all that McKlayne adored all the flowers and the "fancy" table. She and Asher both loved the chocolate crosses. (I searched all over town and finally found them at Walgreens...well worth the search.)

Since it was so early, we let the babies continue to sleep while we celebrated the resurrection over breakfast.  Asher and McKlayne enjoyed the "double date" and Charlie and I really enjoyed getting to focus and really be engaged in conversation with them without any distractions.

After breakfast and signing a few hymns, Charlie retold the Easter story as the kids ate their chocolate crosses. They listened intently and asked insightful questions as they tried to process the story of salvation.

Then Charlie explained how early Christians adopted an ancient tradition from the Persians that we now know as "Easter eggs".  The Persians celebrated with eggs in their Spring Festival. They used the hard shell of the egg, as it is broken open so that new life can emerge, to symbolize the rebirth of nature through Spring.  In the same way, Christians adapted this symbol a bit and began to use eggs to symbolize the rock-hewn tomb of Jesus, which was broken open when he rose from the dead on the third day, to symbolize the rebirth of mankind through Jesus.  

And with that, they were off to hunt Easter Eggs.

As they emptied their coin-filled eggs, Charlie told them about how we'd decided to put money in them to remind them of  Jesus as valuable "treasure". He went on to tell them a story that Jesus told about the kingdom being like Hidden Treasure (Matthew13). I pray that these symbols of truth are planted deep in their hearts and that the Spirit would grow them in understanding and faith, and one day soon, they'd take all that they have and trade it for that treasure, Jesus.

And, because I'm from South Texas, confetti eggs will always be a part of our celebration:

After a long nap, we went on an Easter Story Treasure Hunt, as a family.  The kids enjoyed this, too.(Maybe, I'll share that with you next year.)

As much as we were bummed to not get to spend the weekend with family, I was reminded of, "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul."

A whole day to celebrate....really celebrate new life we've been given through the resurrection power of Jesus. It was activity-packed, yet full of meaning and rest as we were able to really reflect on the freedom and newness that Jesus freely extends to all who believe...even those "religious ones" who think they'd "always believed"-like me. Thank you, Jesus, for the gift of new, rich life that you extended to me, nine years ago.


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